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Dennis Michelsen · Monday May 29, 2006
Amazing Grace on the bagpipes"¦good to see that the gang at Lowe’s Motor Speedway understands the significance of Memorial Day!
Taps and twenty-one gun salutes were also a great touch to properly honor all those brave soldiers that never returned home.
Carrie Underwood also did an excellent job on the National Anthem. As an added touch it was cool when she looked skyward to see the flyover at the end.
Race Grade A-
This was one race that I thought was going to be a disaster but turned into an entertaining race. It would have been better to have the same size fuel cell and a better tire but the teams proved how great they are at overcoming adversity. This was one of the more entertaining races of the season so far.
F for Kevin Harvick’s Bad Luck
Now that the contract is signed it was ironic to see another parts failure, which seemed to be frustrating Harvick last season. RCR can’t afford any more mistakes if they plan on making the Chase for the first time this year!
D for Michael Waltrip
This has been a horrible year for Waltrip and keeps getting worse. First he fails to qualify for the race and has to buy a ride for him and his sponsor NAPA. Then he fails to even be competitive all night. Mikey will go back to just being the Court Jester of NASCAR if he doesn’t turn things around soon.
C for Johnny Sauter
After being competitive early in the race running in the top five, pit stop trouble would finally doom this team. Haas should think about putting together a second team for next season since they can be this competitive with a first-race-of-the-season team!
B for Mark Martin
If there was any doubt about how bad Mark Martin wants to win a championship, take a look at this race! Martin was running up front all night and showed the kind of grit and determination on the last lap to improve just one position. That’s what championships are made of folks!
A for Kasey Kahne
After a season last year that had only his most adoring fans still taking notice, Kahne has come out on fire this year. Not only is he tied for the most wins of the year so far with Jimmie Johnson, he has won races in impressive style. This is the kind of driver and team that can get hot at the right time and win the championship this year.
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I beg to differ on the race grade. There was hardly any side by side racing except for few laps here and there. Kudo to Kasey for snatching a win from Jimmie Johnson. Thank God! otherwise we would have heard Fox commentators saying it the umpteenth time “Jimmie’s House!”.
“F” for Tony Stewart’s bad luck too. He had a strong car and was quickly making his way to the front when his tire went down. He can’t seem to catch a break and the next race track is very hard on the body. I hope he recovers to make the race.
Side by side racing is just another way of saying “it’s difficult to pass”. That makes for bad racing.
Nascar deserves another F for calling mystery debris cautions in the middle of green flag pit stops. Debris cautions ruin races, and cause wrecks.
Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.